The Asian Development Bank said Monday it approved a $123 million (P5.91 billion) loan for the construction of safe and disaster-resilient elevated walkways along EDSA to make the Philippines capital's main highway pedestrian-friendly.
The EDSA Greenways Project consists of five kilometers of covered walkways which aims to link mass transit stations along EDSA, namely the Balintawak, Cubao, Guadalupe, and Taft stations.
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The structures will be five meters wide and will have elevators and monitoring systems. The goal is to make it accessible to all pedestrians, the elderly, pregnant women, young children, and people with disabilities included.
The project will also be supported by a $15 million loan from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations Catalytic Green Finance Facility, which will be administered by the ADB.
“The EDSA Greenways Project is an integral part of the government’s transport strategy to make Metro Manila a better place to live, work, and visit,” said ADB’s Southeast Asia Transport and Communications Director Hiroaki Yamaguchi. “This project is an important part of our contribution to helping make that vision a reality for Filipinos.”
ADB Senior Transport Specialist for Southeast Asia Shuji Kimura said he hoped the Build, Build, Build project would encourage more Filipinos to switch from private vehicles to public transport as the elevated walkways would be safe and inclusive while lowering carbon emissions.
The project will support the capital region’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, as it’s expected to generate jobs during the construction period, with P3 billion to be spent on materials. The civil works contracts for the project are expected to be awarded during the first half of 2021.
Construction will cause minimal traffic disruptions, with an international consulting firm working on a feasibility study with the Department of Transportation, funded by the ADB’s Infrastructure Preparation and Innovation Facility.
According to ADB’s 2019 Asian Development Outlook with numbers from MMDA, Metro Manila is considered the most congested city in Asia in terms of population, land area, and length of road networks, with annual average daily traffic on EDSA reaching 405,882 vehicles in 2019, up about 6% from 383,828 in 2018.